21 Hotspots: Where to Go in Seoul and How to Get There

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If you’re coming to Korea, you will almost definitely want to come to Seoul for at least a bit. Read this post to find out where to shop in Seoul, where to hang out in Seoul, and some of the best places to visit in Seoul for tourists. Oh yea, and Seoulistic.com tells you how to get there too because we’re uber helpful like that 😉

Where to Shop in Seoul

Garosugil

1. Garosugil (가로수길) – “Damn, you look good!” If you want to hear that, head over to Garosugil for the latest fashion trends from global and local Korean fashion designers alike. This has both expensive options as well as not-that expensive options for shopping in Seoul, but whatever price you pay, you’ll be sure to be rockin’ some of the latest Korean fashion trends.
How to Go to Garosugil: Sinsa Station (신사역) – Line 3, exit 8 (10 minute walk)

2. Apgujeong (압구정) – Rodeo Drive is in LA, and it’s also in Apgujeong. Apgujeong has a street named after the iconic LA street because of the high-end fashion that can be found at Apgujeong. Come here if you like Chanel and Luis Vuitton. But even if that’s too rich for your blood, don’t let that scare you away. There are plenty of shopping options for all price ranges.
How to Go to Apgujeong: Apgujeong Station (압구정역) – Line 3, exit 2 (15 minute walk)

Myeongdong

3. Myeongdong (명동) – Pretty much the number 1 tourist attraction in Seoul, Myeongdong is a shoppers heaven. With brand names like Zara, H&M, Forever 21, and Tommy Hilfiger, this is a great place to buy some clothes in Seoul. Myeongdong also has a whole lot of Korean make up stores for the ladies. And for those wondering where to buy souvenirs in Seoul, Myeongdong has a few side street vendors that sell cool and wacky Korean stuff (e.g. kpop socks!).
How to Go to Myeongdong: Myeongdong Station (명동역) – Line 4, exit 6 or Euljiro 1-ga Station (을지로입구역) – Line 2, exit 6

4. Ehwa Woman’s University (이대) – Korean College Girls = cheap shopping in Korea. Go here for Korean college student fashion, and tons of cafes for you to hang out like a Korean college girl. The college campus is also a pretty nice place to just hang out and chill. But Ehwa University’s most compelling feature is that it’s one of the best places to shop in Seoul if you’re a female looking to shop cheaply!
How to Go to Ehwa University: Ehwa Woman’s University Station (이대역) – Line 2, exit 2

Coex

5. Coex Mall (코엑스) – If you’re looking for places to shop in Seoul, you should probably head over to the most famous mall in Korea, Coex. There are a few brand names that you’ll recognize, but there are also a few Korean brands that you may not be familiar with. You can spend an entire day shopping in Seoul if you want. But for your friends who get bored of shopping quickly, there are plenty of good food at the food court and an aquarium to see little fishies!
How to Go to COEX Mall: Samseong Station (삼성역) – Line 2, exit 5

6. Yongsan Electronics Market (용산전자상가) – Electronic nerds unite here at Yongsan Electronics market. This is the place in Seoul to go if you need cameras, video games, appliances, cell phones and anything else electronics.  The vendors can be a bit pushy, and you’ll have to shop around to see the best prices, so it can be a bit of work. But it’s a market, so you might have fun with the bargaining aspect of this whole Seoul shopping experience.

Yongsan

How to Go to Yongsan Electronics Market: Yongsan Station (용산역) – Line 1, Jungang Line, exit 2 or Sinyongsan Station (신용산역) – Line 4, exit 5

7. Dongdaemun Market (동대문시장) – Check out this super large scale clothing market and buy tons of Korean fashion goods on the cheap. You won’t find too many big name global brands, but there are tons of local Korean independent retailers. And it’s open super late for all the insomniac Seoul shoppers out there.
How to Go to Dongdaemun Market: Dongdaemun Station (동대문역) – Line 1, Line 4, exit 8 or 9

 

Where to Hang Out in Seoul

Hongdae

8. Hongdae (홍대) – Hongdae is clubs & bars, cafes, art & design and everything in between. This is a mega popular area for all forms of hanging out in Seoul. Come here to see the epitome of Korean sub culture. There’s tons of street performances, street food, clubbing, bars, restaurants, and shopping! Hongdae’s got pretty much anything you need to hang out in Seoul!
How to go to Hongdae: Hongik University Station (홍대입구역) – Line 2, exit 9 or Sangsu Station (상수역) – Line 6, exit 1

9. Gangnam Station (강남역) – Gangnam Station is a popular spot for Korean college students who live below the Han river. With tons of bars, restaurants, and cafes, Gangnam Station is a central destination for people who just need to hang out with their friends! Also, it’s pretty easy to get to most places in Seoul with all the buses that run in and out of the place.
How to go to Gangnam: Gangnam Station (강남역) – Line 2, exit 10, 11 or Sinnonhyeon Station (신논현역) – Line 9, exit 5, 6

Itaewon

10. Itaewon (이태원) – This is the foreigner district of Seoul. This place used to be dominated by U.S. soldiers, but recently this Seoul hotspot has attracted more and more Koreans by the day, making this an awesome place to meet foreigners and Koreans alike! Come here if you like international foods, such as Thai, Bulgarian, Spanish, etc. It’s also good if you’re looking for a western style bar, lounge, or club in Seoul.
How to Go to Itaewon: Itaewon Station (이태원역) – Line 6, any exit

11. Sinchon (신촌) – Located centrally among three major universities, Sinchon is a popular Korean college town watering hole. Mostly filled with bars, a little bit of shopping and some entertainment options, Sinchon is a great place to just kick back with your friends. Oh yea, and pretty good Korean food options for the nice price of college-town cheap!
How to go to Sinchon: Sinchon Station (신촌역) – Line 2, exit 2

Lotte World

12. Lotte World (롯대월드) – Although the Jamsil area can also be included in the shopping section of this list, Lotte World gets its own section as it’s probably the most popular amusement park in Seoul. It’s a great place to go for a date or even with a group of friends. Rides, games and ice skating make this a great place to spend an entire day in Seoul.
How to Go to Lotte World: Jamsil Station (잠실역) – Line 2, Line 8, exit 4

13. Yeouido Park (여의도공원) – Located next Seoul’s tallest building, the 63 building, Yeouido Park is a great outdoor place to hang out in Seoul. The park has nice gardens that are good for picnics, and sporty activities, like rollerblading, bike riding, and even some outdoor basketball hoops. Come here if you’re a Mountain Dew chugging sports fanatic!
How to Go to Yeouido Park: Yeouido Station (여의도역) – Line 5, exit 3 or  Yeouinaru Station (여의나루역) – Line 5, exit 1

14. Samcheong-dong (삼청동) – This is a more refined option for hanging out in Seoul. It has some of the nicest cafes in Seoul, and it also has very elegant restaurants. Samcheong-dong can be a bit on the pricey side, so come here if you’re looking for a place to take your date or in need of a more refined atmosphere.
How to Go to Samcheong-dong: Anguk Station (안국역) – Line 3, exit 1

 

Places to Visit in Seoul for Tourists

Insadong (Credit: Edwin Ro)

15. Insadong (인사동) – Insadong is a must-see for the Seoul tourist. It’ll be your one stop shop for cool Korean stuff from long ago (i.e. tea houses, Korean antiques, Korean fans, etc.). And although it is a tourist mecca, rest assured that even local Koreans hang out here for the cool cafes, museums and food!
How to Go to Insadong: Anguk Station (안국역) – Line 3, exit 6

16. Gwangjang Market (광장시장)
Gwangjang Market is one of the markets in Seoul frequented by tourists because of its super local feel and very delicious Korean street food. Some of the famous dishes here are the Korean pancakes (빈대떡/bindaettuk) or baby gimbap (마약김밥/mayakgimbap). Oh yea, and if you want to meet typical old school ajummas, check out the women vendors. They’re very old school and very ajumma-esque!
How to Go to Gwangjang Market: Jongno 5-ga Station (종로5-가역) – Line 1, exit 8 or Euljiro 4-ga Station (을지로4가역) – Line 2, Line 5, exit 4.

Namdaemun Market

17. Namdaemun Market (남대문시장)
Probably one of the most popular places to see for Seoul tourists, Namedaemun Market has tons of random goodies including ginseng, mountain climbing gear, camera parts, and cheap eye wear. Come here if you’re not sure what gifts to get from Korea. Namdaemun Market will have tons of very Korean gifts as well as random trinkets for souvenir gift ideas from Korea. And if you like bargaining, you get the green light here!
How to Go to Namdaemun Market: Hoehyeon Station (회현역) – Line 4, exit 5

18. Gwanghwamun (광화문) – This is a fantastic place to go if you’re wondering where to go sightseeing in Seoul. This Seoul landmark is must see tourist Seoul tourist attraction for those interested in ultra old and traditional Korea stuff. And right next to Gwanghwamun there are also the uber cool statues of King Sejong the Great and the super badass Yi Sun-sin. Traditional Korea all in one Seoul tourist hotspot!

Gwanghwamun

How to Go to Gwanghwamun: Gwanghwamun Station (광화문역) – Line 5, exit 2

19. Noryangjin Market (노량진시장) – Oh man, the fish here be crazy fresh! You literally pick out a fish from one of the tanks and about 5 minutes after you bring it to a dude with a knife, you’ll be eating some of the freshest Korean style raw fish (회/hwe) you can have in Seoul. But even if you’re not into eating raw fish, it’s still a cool place to visit as you’ll be able to see really bizarre sea creatures and say “what the heck is that?!”
How to Go to Noryangjin Market: Noryangjin Station (노량진역) – Line 1, exit 1

20. N Seoul Tower (남산타워) – If you want one of the best views in Seoul, check out Seoul tower. There’s a fun cable car to get up towards the top and a cool rotating restaurant that’ll give you a view of the entire city. Also, the elevator is super fast and therefore super fun. Whee! 😀
How to Go to N Seoul Tower: Chungmuro Station (충무로역) – Line 3, Line 4, exit 2, transfer to Bus 2 or Bus 5 (bound for N Seoul Tower) or Itaewon Station (이태원역) – Line 6, exit 4, transfer to bus 3 (bound for N Seoul Tower)

Bukchon Hanok Village
21. Bukchon Hanok Village (북촌한옥마을) – This is a super beautiful place to go in if you’re looking for awesome sightseeing in Seoul as Bukchon is one the few places in Seoul you can see traditional Korean housing. These traditional Korean homes used to belong to Korean aristocracy, and are now under protection against development. Hopefully, we’ll see these beauties last forever! :)
How to Go to  Bukchon Hanok Village: Anguk Station (안국역) – Line 3, exit 2

This post focused on popular areas in Seoul. If you’re looking for attractions, we got you!
50 Seoul Attractions and How to Get There

About Keith

Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started seoulistic.com as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea.Personal Blog: gyopokeith.com Facebook: facebook.com/gyopokeithkim Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeithe-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at] gmail.com

43 comments

  1. good one! Thanks 😉

  2. Chewth

    Awesome sharing!

  3. Çiğdem

    thank you for information again.. 1 week later, i’ll be in Korea ^^* . i’ll go to all of this places ^^

  4. Great! Hope you have tons of fun! :)

  5. Super useful. My wife and I are planning in visiting Seoul one of these days and this is a huge help.

  6. Alex

    Thanks for sharing ! I will be in Seoul in October, will surely check out all these places. Which area would you recommend to stay for 1 week? For now I am debating between Hongdae and Itaewon.

  7. Ellen

    Hello. I am a bigger girl and I was wondering; i know there isn’t much; but is there a place that sells a few larger clothing sizes in seoul?

  8. synthia

    thanks for sharing, will bacj to Seoul this october. definetely going to Noryangjin :)

  9. Gretchen

    Hi, me and 3 of my friends are going to Seoul this November and we wanted to try drinking soju on local street vendors…where can we go? and what do you call them? we will be staying somewhere in Myeongdong.

  10. Kati

    I recommend staying at JK House in Sinchon. It’s about a ten minute walk from Hongdae too. Staff is super friendly, and one of my friends liked it enough to stay for 3 months! ^^

  11. Richard

    Seoul is like a centre-everywhere place. I dont even know where downtown is cuz everywhere is full of amazing things. Definitely the best city I;ve ever been to in the whole world.

  12. Eloise

    This is so nice..but im wondering if you next time you can put some prices of items..because im wanna know if it cheap shopping there…

  13. Mike

    About 3 weeks ago our group visited Korea & at
    Myeongdong we were surprised that some street
    vendors stopped us from taking photos. We had
    travelled several thousand miles to visit South Korea
    & those street vendors ought to realize that most
    tourists like us also give them business &
    so they should allow us to take some photos in
    rememberance of our trip & also to show those
    photos to our relatives & friends back home who
    might be interested to visit Korea in the future.

  14. Christina

    When I read that there’s Bulgarian food in Itaewon, my heart nearly stopped, LOL. I can’t believe Seoul has a tiny part of my incredibly small country, it’s unbelievable. Anyway, I want to say that your articles are very interesting, entertaining and informative! Keep up with the amazing work! :))

  15. DEAR GOD THANK YOU FOR THIS. I’m going this sunday. Only have 1 full day really to do things, but I’m gonna do my hardest to make the most out of it. This helps ALOT.

  16. Jim

    Mike, you sound like an ignorant bastard. First of all, you are a visitor in someone else’s country. If they don’t want you to take pictures, you don’t take pictures. You think they give a crap about the business you or any other tourist gives them??? They get PLENTY of business without you. This is why westerners are hated around the world. We act like we have some God complex that everyone should do what we want. Don’t visit Asian countries with your mentally because you could end up in the doghouse buddy. What an idiot…

  17. Openita

    SUPER HELPFUL! Thanks for sharing :)
    I will visit seoul this sat and will surely visit the places you mentioned. Thanks much 😀

  18. Diyana

    This is very very helpful; Will be using your guides to fill up our time in Seoul 😀 Thank you so much!

  19. Great! In Seoul now and was just wondering where to go today! hahah! I guess now I have a good idea thanks to this informative article. 😛

  20. Nazir

    Include Seoul Land and Zoo, on line #4. Nice outdoor activity!

  21. Huda asmieda

    It’s good city too go whis die in seoul

  22. Habib

    So useful. Many thanks.

  23. Hari Upadhaya Rimal

    Hello ! I am Hari from Nepal. I want to visit Kangnam University Korea, as i know it is located at Yongin, I don’t have idea about how to travel from Seoul National University to Kangnam University. Please, can you give me some suggestions.
    Thank you.

  24. Hi Hari!^^
    The subway station closest to Kangnam University is to take the yellow Bundang Line to Giheung Station. Once you get off, go through Exit 3 or Exit 4 & then take one of the buses that will lead you to an area across from Kangnam University’s gate (front): 5000, 5001, 5003, 5005, 66, 66-4, 820, 690, 80, 36, 36-1, 28, 54, & 10. (Kangnam University(entrance or front gate) is the next stop ). Hope that helps! I googled the whole info.. :)

  25. wow, thanks for the post! i actually read about a cafe/shop that’s made from recycled doors/windows that’s in seoul. does anyone know where this is?

  26. Keith, and I know this is about jot spots, but I’ve got a question. What is the best beach close to Seoul that one can Take a day trip? I will be there in July and would love to see a couple of them. I thank you for your help =)

  27. Maggie

    Very helpful…gonna save it for refrence….

  28. lawrence ck

    love it!!Will be there this Dec and This is really help us ..Thank you so much

  29. Tezza

    Great post! I will be in Seoul for a week from 23 Oct 2013. I been researching for days, after reading this post I know how to spend my time in Seoul. Thank you for the insight, much appreciated. Would anyone recommend me any city around Seoul for a couple of days, or I should spend all 7 nights in Seoul? I have booked 3 nights in Gangnam, not sure yet what to do after that. Tez [email protected]

  30. anoymous

    thanks for sharing had visited korea for 3 time or more .it was really a goooood experience hahahhahahahahahahahahhhah anyway thanks for the info

    • ano

      wah cool

  31. Olivia

    Thank you so much for this and your videos… I’ll be visiting Seoul with friends in a few weeks and will definitely check out these places!!!

  32. raissa

    geez. has anyone told you that this blog is a lifesaver? hehe..actually i’m a bit anxious about my korea trip by the end of this month. But i think i can survive it just by reading this blog. :) thanks again.

  33. veronica

    Daebak! The site is very helpful. I’m solely planning for our trip with my friends to Seoul next year. Hope somebody can show us around! Kamsamnida!

  34. anna

    I’ll be in soul Korea in 1 1/2 weeks.. so excited. ..